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Felony crimes fall 13 points - 63rd Police Precinct reports significant drop

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After a bumpy start at the beginning of the New Year, the 63rd Precinct seems back on its crime-fighting track with a 13 percent fall in felonies. Speaking to the members of the 63rd Precinct Community Council last week, Deputy Inspector Frank Cangiarella said that only ten other commands out of the 76 precincts in the city have better crime reductions. “We’re down in every category,” he said. “For example, last year at this time we had 54 robberies in the command and this year we’re investigating 33 robberies.” Cangiarella said it was the cracker-jack officers under his command that helped reduce crime figures as they grab up the ones responsible for committing most of the crime. He explained that in February, Police Officer Gregory Paul and Steven Yichevna, members of the precinct’s anti-crime team, arrested two men burglarizing a home in the northern end of the command. “They saw someone suspicious standing in front of the window of a house,” he said. “When they questioned the male, they saw a second male climbing out of the back of the home.” Both men were arrested without incident. Officers Paul and Yichevna were named “Cops of the Month,” although they weren’t available to be congratulated by the council. “Toward the end of last year we had a problem with burglaries but now we got it under control thanks to arrests like these.” It’s a well established fact that “ninety-nine percent of the crimes committed in this precinct are committed by just two to three percent of the population,” Cangiarella said. “This arrest made a significant impact,” he said. “Criminals like these are one man crime waves.” Recently released CompStat statistics show that burglaries in the command have dropped by nearly five percent since the beginning of the year, from 64 in 2007 to 61 this year. The precinct has also seen a 36 percent drop in robbery, from 56 to 36, when compared to 2007 figures. No homicides had been reported in the precinct so far this year. But there has been a slight increase in felony assaults, from 26 in 2007 to 27 this year. Despite the impressive criminal downturn, Cangiarella recommended that residents in the precinct keep on their guard and use a measure of common sense wherever possible. “Whatever you do, don’t leave your car with the doors unlocked and running with keys in it,” said Cangiarella. “When I see that, I wait by the car until they come out of their house or store and tell them that’s the quickest way to get their car stolen.” “When they say that they’ve been watching the car from the window, I tell them that all they’re going to do is watch it roll away.”

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